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RHA calls for action on freight crime and abnormal load delays

The Road Haulage Association has launched a manifesto urging Police and Crime Commissioners to take a stronger stance against freight crime and streamline regulations for abnormal loads.

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The manifesto, entitled ‘Driving Down Freight Crime’, highlights the significant financial burden that criminal activity places on the industry. According to the RHA, freight crime costs the UK economy a staggering £250 million a year. The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) reported more than 5,300 incidents in 2023 alone, resulting in losses of more than £68 million.

The RHA manifesto highlights the impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of the logistics sector. They argue that cargo crime not only affects profitability but also hinders staff retention and investment.

The manifesto calls for a multi-pronged approach to tackle the issue. Key demands include:

  • Prioritising freight crime: PCCs are urged to recognise the seriousness of the problem and include it in their police and crime plans.
  • Increased cooperation with NaVCIS: the RHA advocates increased police cooperation with NaVCIS, the national unit dedicated to combating cargo theft. This includes reporting incidents directly to NaVCIS and using their expertise in investigations.
  • Investment in secure parking: the Manifesto highlights the vital role of secure parking facilities in deterring crime. The RHA urges PCCs to support the development of such facilities in high-risk areas.

The manifesto also addresses the issue of abnormal load regulations, such as oversized machinery. The RHA criticises the current system as inconsistent and bureaucratic, causing delays and unnecessary costs for hauliers. Independent research commissioned by the RHA estimates that these inefficiencies cost the industry over £187 million a year.

The RHA is calling for a more standardised approach to abnormal load restrictions, with clear guidelines for police enforcement. They are urging the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to develop national guidance and work towards consistency across the UK.

By implementing these recommendations, the RHA hopes to create a safer and more efficient environment for the haulage industry, ultimately benefiting businesses and consumers alike.